Oilon Oy will provide Lempäälän Lämpö Oy a with new kind of CHC heat pump solution that will improving the efficiency of the company’s energy production and, if employed at a large scale, help combat climate change and promote the energy revolution. The heat pump will also act as a bridge that allows district heating and electrical systems to communicate with each other. Consequently, Lempäälän Lämpö has found heat pumps to be one of the best ways of improving energy efficiency.
“It is extremely interesting to witness first hand how technological advances in equipment and systems as well as new ideas for utilizing existing equipment in new configurations create new possibilities. These new configurations will improve energy efficiency and help to achieve carbon neutrality targets both locally and across the entire energy system,” says Katja Kurki-Suonio, Executive Director, Finnish District Heating and Cooling Association.
Combined heating and cooling, CHC in short, refers to a heat pump system intended for simultaneous production of heating and cooling. In the municipality of Lempäälä, Finland, the solution will include a district loop booster unit for utilizing thermal energy in the local heating plant’s return pipe.
”Lempäälä will be the first location where these connections are integrated under one and the same system”, says Jussi Alpua, Oilon’s Chief Business Officer for Industrial Heat Pumps and Chillers.
In district heating systems, return water temperature is usually around 40–50 °C. The combination of a CHC heat pump and a district loop booster can be used to recover 10 degrees of the heat. This improves the energy efficiency of biofuel-firing district heating plants.
“What this means in practice is that we produce district heating with electricity. However, we will use only renewable energy for the purpose. We are connected to the Nordic electricity markets, and whenever there is cheap renewable energy available, we will utilize this in our heat pumps”, says Lempäälän lämpö’s Executive Director Toni Laakso.
According to Laakso, the solution will also serve the local district cooling network.
“Many cooling consumers require cooling only during the summer; at other times, the system would remain idle. With this combined CHC and booster solution we can increase the system’s operational time. Furthermore, we will no longer need to dump the energy extracted by the cooling process into the atmosphere.”
Driving the energy revolution
According to Laakso, if implemented at a larger scale, a similar combination of CHC heat pumps and district loop boosters could serve the entire power system. Cross-sector integration within the energy industry is a big part of the ongoing energy revolution.
“A district heating system is home to significant, highly-controlled thermal energy streams, typically within densely populated areas. Similarly to electric batteries, the district heating network could serve as an energy store for the power distribution system and even out peaks and valleys in system within a 24-hour timeframe. For this to be possible, the different energy systems need to be able to communicate seamlessly.”
Read more here.
Author: Satu Tähkä
Images: Lempäälän Lämpö Oy, Oilon Oy